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CAIR, CAIR-Minnesota to Announce Lawsuit on Behalf of Jacob Letourneau-Elsharkawy’s Estate Against Chisago Lakes School District

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 9/15/20) – On Wednesday September 16, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Minnesota) and the CAIR National Legal Defense Fund (CAIR LDF) will hold a press conference in Minneapolis, Minn., to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit on behalf of Jacob Letourneau-Elsharkawy’s estate to seek justice for Jacob’s family and to fight for positive changes in how Chisago Lakes School District and other schools in Minnesota address bullying. 

SEE: Family Alleges Bullying Led to Teen’s Suicide 

WHAT: CAIR-Minnesota and CAIR LDF will announce a lawsuit on behalf of Jacob Letourneau-Elsharkawy’s estate against Chisago Lakes School District

WHO: Faith El-Sharkawy (Jacob’s mother) will attend with CAIR-MN and CAIR LDF  

WHEN: Wednesday, September 16, 11:30 A.M. CT   

WHERE: CAIR-MN Office, 2511 East Franklin, Minneapolis MN 55406  

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-206-3360, jhussein@cair.com   

Jacob Letourneau-Elsharkawy, a Muslim high school student with special needs, died by suicide after school officials failed to provide him with a safe and supportive educational environment.  

School officials allowed Jacob to be bullied and, on occasion, perpetrated the bullying themselves. Despite years of Islamophobic and ableist bullying punctuated by episodes of violence, Chisago Lakes School District chose to look the other way. Discrimination on the basis of disability and religion are prohibited under state and federal law. 

Jaylani Hussein, CAIR-Minnesota’s executive director, said: “Jacob’s death will haunt Minnesota for our inability to protect Muslim students from systemic violence that made his school the most dangerous place for him. With this lawsuit, we aim to protect minority students from preventable Islamophobic, bigoted, and racist bullying.” 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.                 

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.        

END

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com   

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